Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Prickly Pear of Politics

I was going to post this a while ago, but never got around to it. Yet the recent contretemps between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barak Obama fully revealed the character of both men. Basically, Sen. McCain accused Sen. Obama of backing out of a promise to support McCain's lobbying reform package. Obama said he never made such a promise and simply met with McCain to discuss such reforms. Read the letters and decide for yourself whose description of events seems more likely. (Hint: It's Obama by a mile.) One tip-off: McCain only released his letter to the press; Obama released all of the correspondence.

Sen. McCain is the prickly pear of politics. He can be snide and condescending, has a short fuse and is probably not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Sen. Obama, on the other hand, is gracious (even when attacked), thoughtful and displays all of the qualities that are supposed to define "Senator."

Given that McCain still has a realistic chance to be president, his personal qualities are of heightened importance. These two Senators share one aspect -- they both have remarkable personal histories. They are both admirable in many ways. But as we were reminded relentlessly during the recent Supreme Court nominations, "temperament" matters greatly in high office.

NOTE: OK, the picture is not one of my better efforts....

No comments: